On the night of Jan. 6, Arizona’s former prison director, Charles Ryan, drank half a bottle of tequila and got into a three-hour armed standoff that involved about 50 police officers. After a tense confrontation in which Ryan repeatedly pointed a gun at officers, Tempe police took Ryan into custody and brought him to a hospital — but he was never booked into jail. In the end, Ryan went back home like nothing had happened.
Meg O'Connor Feb 22, 2022
More than 20 women accused Harry Morel, a longtime district attorney in Louisiana, of sexual misconduct. But Morel pleaded guilty to just a single obstruction of justice count while Mike Zummer, the FBI agent who investigated him, was fired. Now, Zummer is speaking about what he says is a grave injustice—at the hands of the Justice Department.
Jerry Iannelli Dec 15, 2020
Jason Brown, who has worked in several parish DA’s offices, was accused of using illegal tactics to win at least one case before arriving in Calcasieu Parish, where he was terminated over alleged dishonesty in a continuance motion. Now, The Appeal has learned that he had segregation-era signs in an art studio he owned.
Jon Campbell Mar 26, 2020
In California, a Vallejo detective and a Solano County prosecutor concealed exculpatory evidence from a man facing murder charges. They went on to face accusations of misconduct in other high-profile cases.
Prosecutors in Hennepin County, Minnesota, used jailhouse informants and an unreliable gang expert, and ignored evidence of innocence to send a Black teenager to prison for life.
Kyle C. Barry Feb 19, 2020
After The Exoneration Of Three In Baltimore, Man Whose Wrongful Conviction Was Driven By Same Detective Seeks Justice
Convicted in 1982 in a murder case in which exculpatory evidence was not shared with his attorneys, Wendell Griffin now calls on State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to clear his name.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Dec 12, 2019
Spotlights like this one provide original commentary and analysis on pressing criminal justice issues of the day. You can read them each day in our newsletter, The Daily Appeal. Two Louisiana judges will begin hearing arguments tomorrow about whether a Black judge should be recused from more than 300 criminal cases after she criticized prosecutors for the disproportionate rate of […]
Sarah Lustbader Oct 29, 2019
After more than two decades, Terrance Lewis was exonerated and released from prison earlier this year. He is now an advocate for other innocent people caught up in the criminal legal system.
Joshua Vaughn Oct 09, 2019
A narrow ruling on Brady lists ensures that protecting the police will continue to prevail over due process.
Kyle C. Barry Sep 18, 2019
Spotlights like this one provide original commentary and analysis on pressing criminal justice issues of the day. You can read them each day in our newsletter, The Daily Appeal. Sometimes it seems as if U.S. Senator Kamala Harris thinks we aren’t paying attention. She seems to assume that if she chooses the right words, the ones […]
Sarah Lustbader Sep 12, 2019
In 1998, prosecutors failed to tell the defense that a key witness in Toforest Johnson’s capital murder trial would receive thousands of dollars in reward money for her testimony, Johnson’s attorneys say. Now a Birmingham judge must decide whether their argument has merit.
Lauren Gill Aug 22, 2019
Police and prosecutors framed a father of four in a 2007 murder case with local and national political implications.
Kyle C. Barry Jul 02, 2019
Last week, the Supreme Court surprised many liberals when it overturned the conviction of a Black man on death row, Curtis Flowers, for racial bias in jury selection.
Sarah Lustbader Jun 27, 2019
Attorneys for a man exonerated in a Baltimore murder say detectives suppressed exculpatory evidence and that the police’s homicide unit has a pattern and practice of similar conduct in decades of cases.
Amelia McDonell-Parry Apr 02, 2019
State bar organizations have the power to discipline prosecutors, but they studiously ignore bad behavior.
A single training document uncovered in a prosecutor’s files could save Russell William Tucker’s life.
Jacob Biba Sep 04, 2018
Prosecutors on the “J20” case faced grave allegations of misconduct after withholding exculpatory evidence contained in videos from defense attorneys. But this is far from the first time that this office has found itself in hot water.
EXCLUSIVE: Documents Reveal Bronx DA’s Office Is Still Withholding Key Evidence In Prosecution of Bronx Teen
Pedro Hernandez’s case has inspired calls for reform, but he’s still being targeted for an alleged cell phone theft.
Did a Louisiana police chief and a prosecutor cross a line when they issued televised threats to a man who’d just been granted relief by a federal appeals court in a child killing?
Max Rivlin-Nadler Jul 03, 2018
When Caddo voters booted their infamous district attorney, some of his toughest prosecutors found a home in Calcasieu.
Josie Duffy Rice Jun 29, 2018
Walliris Velez thought the worst was behind her after she was slashed in a subway car, but then came an arrest and an attempted murder charge by the Bronx DA.
Across the state, most incumbents successfully fended off progressive challengers during the June 5 primary.
Max Rivlin-Nadler Jun 06, 2018
Public defenders say the problem has disastrous effects on their clients’ cases.
Carimah Townes May 23, 2018
In the spring of 1983, Donald Mairena witnessed a shooting at New Orleans’ Latin American Club. He chased after the shooter and later told law enforcement what he’d seen. Mairena gave them his address in case they needed any more information from him. He heard nothing about the case until almost two years later, when […]
Aviva Shen May 21, 2018
When Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark announced last September that gun possession and assault charges would be dropped against teenager Pedro Hernandez, who had spent 12 months on Rikers Island, she pledged her office would investigate what went wrong, and that the investigation would “go wherever the evidence leads.” A lot had gone wrong in the case […]
Max Rivlin-Nadler May 09, 2018
In 1992, three homemade bombs exploded in seemingly random locations around Colorado. When police later learned that sometime after the bombs went off, Jimmy Genrich had requested a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook from a bookstore, he became their top suspect. In a search of his house, they found no gunpowder or bomb-making materials, just some common household […]
Jessica Brand May 04, 2018
In 2010 Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and presidency. Barack Obama was just heading into his second year in office. Social media was basically brand new. Adele had just won the Grammy for Best New Artist the year before. And millions of people in the United States had a naive hopefulness about the future of […]
Shaun King May 03, 2018
When Kevin Daigle was set to be tried in late April on first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing a Louisiana state trooper in August 2015, he faced the steepest of odds: Prosecutors in the case decided to seek the death penalty, and juries are prone to deliver death verdicts when the life of a law enforcement officer is taken. But […]
We loathe mass incarceration. We loathe police brutality. But most of us have absolutely no idea how to address the critical flaws in our justice system. What this brilliant short film called “Prosecutorial Accountability” breaks down is the fact that no single individual has more power and more influence in the criminal justice system than […]
Shaun King Apr 24, 2018
In 1963, the Supreme Court handed down Gideon v. Wainwright, which held that the government had to provide a lawyer to any poor defendant facing prison time. While often trumpeted as one of the Court’s greatest modern decisions, it has also been embroiled in controversy from the beginning. Like all Supreme Court opinions that impose new […]
John Pfaff Apr 18, 2018
On Jan. 23, 2007, a pair of officers from the Philadelphia Police Department’s Narcotics Field Unit (NFU) received information from a “reliable source” that drug sales were being conducted in the vicinity of 22nd and Jackson Streets, on the city’s south side. “Numerous B/Ms” — NFU officers Reginald Graham and Sylvia Jones would later write in a […]
In 2012, Gilbert Narvaez was convicted on drug-dealing charges and sent to a Pennsylvania prison for a three- to eight-year sentence. Narvaez maintained his innocence and argued that he was the victim of a bad cop named Christopher Hulmes, who claimed that in 2011 he had seen Narvaez in Philadelphia’s Fairhill neighborhood peddling narcotics. “He was just […]
Exclusive: Leaked Police Interview Reveals Key Evidence That a Bronx Judge Has Barred in Upcoming Murder Trial
Brian Solano spent over two years on Rikers Island before a potentially exonerating NYPD video interview was disclosed to his defense attorney. But that video is now being excluded from his June trial.
When Steven Shockey was arrested at a San Diego port of entry in December 2011, he knew his luck had run out. The 52-year-old was trying to re-enter the United States after jumping bail and fleeing to Mexico because of an arrest in Williamson County, Texas, for the aggravated assault of his ex-wife. Because of […]
Max Rivlin-Nadler Mar 30, 2018
Half the challengers to Texas’s sitting district attorneys were successful earlier this month in what criminal justice reformers are calling a promising sign that their message is working. Seven out of 13 incumbent DAs, a mix of Democrats and Republicans, lost their primaries. The Texas District and County Attorneys Association (TDCAA) argues this turnover reflects typical political fluctuations rather than […]
Aviva Shen Mar 21, 2018
A Texas man tried and convicted in late February of murdering his girlfriend’s daughter is the state’s first death sentence in 2018 — but it also may be its latest example of prosecutorial misconduct in a capital case. On February 28, a jury in Hardin County, a small East Texas county near the Louisiana border, handed down a […]
Lauren Gill Mar 16, 2018
In 2016, Louisiana Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards made good on a campaign promise to fix his state’s wildly underfunded public defender system by pushing the state legislature to increase funding to public defender offices working on regular felony and misdemeanor cases. But there was a catch: the majority of the increased funding didn’t come from new taxes or […]
Max Rivlin-Nadler Mar 15, 2018